Business Case for Operators to Open their Network?

Playing devil’s advocate :: Here is an interesting perspective by Curious Minds on our earlier coverage of Airtel/MyToday tussle:

“I have always wondered if there has ever been any strong Business case presented to a mobile operator which would make them open up their networks.

I find it a little difficult to digest that in a competitive domain like Telecom in India, anybody would let go a strong business case.” [comment edited to fit the context]”

Shouvik

“Here is how airtel looks at all this:
I have rented my place (infrastructure) to a co. They pay me, say Rs. 10K. Now these guys start a business using my infra and then, they start making Rs. 100K! Thing is if I block them, they will be dead (literally) – so lets bargain, if they can give me a cut!”

Well, these are perspectives and nothing right/wrong about them – but essentially, they are important to understand from operator’s point of view.

Operators, if they get say even 2% of MyToday users complaint about spam etc, they have all the reasons to block the service – after all, who has the responsibility? TRAI or Operators? Who gets sued, if at all? – these are gray areas that exists. And why some particular service and not loads of spams that we receive every day?

To add some context, sms usage has declined in the last qtr:

SMS Usage:

Outgoing SMS per subscriber continued to decline.[Telecom Industry Qtrly Report] – constitutes 2.1% of the revenue.

  • GSM: Rate of decline has doubled to 14.5% in the quarter under review from a 7% decline in the quarter ending March 2008,CDMA: Rate of decline: 15.9%
  • Decreasing SMS usage is giving in to increasing data usage (493 minutes per month per month per customer in Jan- March 08 quarter, against a constant 463 minutes for about six months prior to that) – source

So, if you are a telco, what’s for you to work closely with services like MyToday/SMSGupshup etc?

What’s your opinion?

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